Health, Safety & Environment Group Policies

Florprotec® is part of Headlam Group plc. Our group policies are detailed below: 

Health and safety 

The health and safety of employees and individuals likely to be affected by our business, including contractors, customers, staff and members of the public where appropriate, is treated with the utmost importance. We are committed to developing and maintaining a positive and effective health and safety culture. It is our policy to seek to ensure that the group’s operations are carried out at all times in compliance with the relevant health and safety guidance in the jurisdictions in which we operate. 

Our health and safety policy, which is endorsed by the board, is tailored to each of our business operations and the circumstances in which they operate. It is amended to reflect changes in procedures and processes and any modifications to our control and inspection procedures. The board receives a detailed presentation on health and safety issues, covering each trading location, on an annual basis, with interim updates as considered necessary. These include comments on improvements following inspections of the UK businesses undertaken by our advisers. Each of the UK businesses receives an updated bespoke comprehensive health and safety manual for use as a source of information, guidance and training together with a set of compliance documentation at least once a year. Each of our businesses has a Health and Safety Committee comprising representatives from the various business departments. These meet on a periodic basis and are coordinated by the on-site health and safety manager. Management teams are encouraged to create a supportive health and safety culture and recognise the value of employee participation. 

Inspections undertaken by our third-party adviser form the basis on which we determine our standards and are continually reviewed and improved. Additional inspections are undertaken where changes to operations have occurred or new premises occupied. These are complemented by annual inspections of racking systems carried out by independent externally appointed assessors and, in the UK, risk inspections undertaken by our insurers at several of our businesses. 

Health and safety is an important part of employee induction, at which time we ensure that all employees are aware of our policies and of the commitment that is expected of them towards their safety. Managers, to whom the day-to-day responsibility for health and safety is delegated and who are best placed to monitor and control safety, are guided and supported by our third-party advisers in risk assessment techniques. Job-specific training, including periodic refresher training, is supported by good practice guides which set out the important features associated with many aspects of the roles and duties undertaken by employees. Good practice guides are reviewed annually to ensure they remain relevant to the business; they include an awareness of impending changes in relevant legislation and other specialist subjects. The local business manager with responsibility for health and safety has completed the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health “Managing Safely” course. 

Our businesses maintain good relationships with health and safety and environmental health regulators with positive and prompt responses to any findings or observations following compliance inspections. In 2013 there were 18 reportable incidents, compared to 14 in 2012, none of which had resulted in a serious injury or fatality. All reportable accidents are investigated and in the minority of instances where improvement is required, changes are implemented in a timely manner. There were no prosecutions for breaches of health and safety or enforcement actions in the year. 

Containment and inspection regimes in higher risk areas, such as fuel and lubrication stores, compressors and fork lift truck battery charging areas, are kept under review; fire risk protection has been improved, training and awareness increased and special containers sited at least five metres from the main buildings for the storage of flammable products. Bespoke provision for such aspects of the business are incorporated within the design of the new distribution facilities. 

Environmental 

As a wholesale distributor of floorcoverings operating from distribution facilities in the UK, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, we are not a significant consumer of water, electricity or gas. 

Water 

Water consumption arises predominantly in respect of employee welfare and commercial vehicle washing. The majority of our water charges are in respect of water supplied and used. We encourage our drivers to keep the commercial vehicles clean and tidy. To assist them, we have a combination of jet wash machines and, at four of the distribution facilities from which a significant number of commercial vehicles operate, specialist truck washes. Each truck wash utilises 100% recycled water, helping with conservation. 

We seek to reduce charges by analysing invoices received in respect of water, through the installation of water meters and by reducing consumption through repair, renewal or installation of equipment to improve efficiency. 

Our water consumption in cubic metres has been fairly consistent, 32,660 in 2013, 31,731 in 2012, the increase in 2013 on prior year being due in the main to the extension to the Coleshill distribution facility but also to the C K Davie premises and service centres acquired during the year. 

Electricity 

Electricity consumption is predominantly in respect of fork lift truck battery charging, the operation of specialist cutting tables used to cut lengths from full and part rolls of broadloom products, associated mechanical handling and compressed air equipment, office and warehouse lighting and office equipment. 

Modern and energy efficient construction techniques and products are incorporated when we invest in new facilities or undertake refurbishment or repair works. During the year, we installed intelligent lighting into a further distribution facility, which is both more efficient than that which it is replacing and movement sensitive, automatically switching off during periods of inactivity. This lighting was also installed in the Coleshill extension and, by way of replacement, in the original Coleshill distribution premises. Photovoltaic panels are soon to be installed on the roof of the Coleshill facility, the capacity of which is designed to match the electricity requirements of the site. Consideration will be given to further similar installations following a period of evaluation. Future construction projects will similarly incorporate intelligent lighting systems and, where practical, renewable energy solutions. During 2013 we completed the installation of automated meter reading in respect of sites with nonhalf- hourly electricity meters, the benefit over time being improved consumption management. 

The actual cost of electricity and gas in 2013 amounted to 0.2% of revenue, which is the same as in the prior year. 

Gas 

Gas is consumed predominantly in respect of office heating and very limited localised radiant heating above work stations on the cutting tables located within the distribution centre. It is expected that the installation of a sophisticated heating control system in the newly constructed Coleshill facility will result in lower consumption. Consideration will be given to installing such control systems in other premises if considered viable.

Owing to the nature of our business and with our proactive approach when planning and developing new facilities, we believe that our activities generally have a low impact on the environment, with no environmental legal or compliance issues arising during the year. 

Carbon reporting 

We are required to report on all the measured emissions sources under The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. Data has been collected in accordance with the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme. Conversion factors for electricity, gas and fuel are those published by the Carbon Trust and Defra in 2013.

Fuel type2013 CO2/tonnes2012 CO2/tonnes
Electricity and gas5,7105,640
Commercial vehicle and car fuel28,20525,886
Total33,91531,526
Tonnes per £1 million turnover5653

The increases have been incurred in respect of volumerelated factors. 

In late 2013, a trans-shipping facility in north London became operational facilitating improved efficiency in deliveries to the south-east. A similar change has been made in Scotland through trans-shipping. Both of these changes have resulted in reduced fuel costs and as a consequence, lower CO2 emissions. 

These changes are estimated to save over 452 CO2/tonnes on an annualised basis. 

Commercial and motor vehicles are replaced respectively on a five- and three-year basis, in doing so improving operational efficiencies and reducing operating costs and vehicle emissions. As a result, with effect from the end of 2013, all of our commercial vehicles comply with Euro 5 emission standards which further reduced the levels of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions. We periodically review our fleet requirements to ensure the optimum design to maximise capacity and improve aerodynamics. 

Waste 

The waste arising from our operations is predominantly protective plastic packaging, cardboard poles and boxes and wooden pallets. The cardboard poles from the centre of full rolls, part rolls and cut lengths of carpet and vinyl delivered to our customers are later collected and re-used until no longer fit for purpose. We continue to increase the percentage that we recycle baling plastics and cardboard, and stacking unwanted pallets for dispatch to specialist re-processing agents, when it is economic to do so. This has reduced the quantity of our waste going to landfill sites. Guidance on waste management is issued to the managers of the individual businesses to increase awareness of the need to control and reduce waste. Where possible, wrapping and packing materials are sourced from manufacturers where a high proportion of recycled materials are used.